One of the nicest things about being in business is the opportunity to have dinner with some of the most interesting people. Last night the table conversation turned to company culture, and I was reminded by one of my dinner companions that we have had the data on how good company culture benefits the bottom line. More profit, more productivity, less churn, and breaking news – people perform better when they’re happier, when they’re appreciated, compensated, and grown! By now this should be a no-brainer, so why are we still having conversations around succession planning and development that don’t speak to creating a strong company culture? Why are we still tolerating the ‘genius jerk’ or just the plain old jerks? At least two clients this week told me about derogatory or dismissive things that their bosses said to them and that is two too many in 2022. This weekend, as I think about giving thanks, I give thanks for the leaders I work with who are genuinely interested in shifting their company culture, not just because it’s good for the business, but because it’s good for the people. This year, a company in the US initially brought me in to help their team with reducing overhang and drag due to bloated email inboxes, communications being a key part of professional presence. At first, it seemed like a simple communications issue, but during the discussion, because the COO is committed to building a safe environment for his team, we uncovered a series of deeper structural issues that were at the root of the problem. Instead of walking away from our workshop with just email tips, the team crafted a new company email policy, clarified the org structure on who to address and when, and set up a host of next steps for their continued development.  As a result of their focused work, the team reported a savings of $250K in person hours in the first three months post workshop just from getting clarity and following the email policy they’d developed together. I love to work with leaders who are willing to invest in their teams and are serious about building company culture through allowing their team to process issues and produce solutions and then reap the benefits. Mandates don’t work. Collaboration does. And leaders who walk the walk on company culture are going to change the world.